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Mastercard has approved the acquisition of blockchain analytics company CipherTrace, which sells anti-cryptocurrency services, while the payroll company expands its betting on digital assets.
The agreement allows Mastercard to “distinguish its cards with real architecture” by helping its customers comply with the rules while “making their offerings”, the company said Thursday. The terms of this agreement have not been disclosed.
Being able to own multiple cryptocurrencies anonymously has created them attractive to criminals who want to waste dirty money. However, any events are recorded on an unstable blockchain, leaving a visible path for researchers.
CipherTrace is one of the first of its kind for crypto forensics that uses state-of-the-art technology combined with human intelligence to analyze blockchain scenarios, helping companies and regulators to identify suspicious activity and monitor the crypto-criminal environment.
The deal comes after Mastercard announced in February that it would happen start helping chose cryptocurrencies directly on their network this year, following Fintech’s feet against PayPal and Square. In the meantime, US authorities are round around a business that is growing but not moving.
“Digital devices can focus on business, from day-to-day things like pay-per-view to economic transformation, making them more cohesive and efficient,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence at Mastercard.
“The rapid growth of natural resources needs to be guaranteed to be reliable and secure. Our goal is to encourage Mastercard and CipherTrace to do just that.”
Established in 2015, CipherTrace was initially accredited by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and supported by investors in Silicon Valley, including WestWave Capital and Third Point Ventures.
According to its website, it has 150 customers, including banks, cryptocurrency exchanges, corporations and regulators. Opponents include New York’s Chainalysis, which raised $ 100m to more than $ 4bn earlier this year, and a London-based Elliptic, whose funding includes Wells Fargo.
“This is a way to set up financial services,” Dave Jevans, chief executive of CipherTrace, told the Financial Times.
Mastercard said its acquisition was part of a more comprehensive approach “in the digital environment to help provide customers, businesses and businesses with more options on how to convert to digital pricing” and to follow a number of similar approaches.
Earlier this year, Mastercard announced its agreement with US crypto exchange Gemini, set up by Winklevoss twins, to launch a crypto payment card. It has similar tests to Uphold and BitPay. It also said it had invested in ways to support the growing market for invisible tokens, or NFTs, and was developing intermediate banking testing platforms.